Singer Christina Grimmie was shot to death last night outside of a concert she gave in Florida. While the news has called her a contestant on “The Voice,” she was more than one of the hundreds of people who performed or the dozens who made it to the finals. Grimmie returned to the voice, even acting as a fashion correspondent for one of the many integrated sponsors, Kohl’s.
I find myself in the unusual position of thinking about her murder as a gun crime. I didn’t want to get political about it, but that happened about 5 seconds after the initial news came out. So, I’ll ignore two theoretical points about guns, that ownership is a matter of liberty and that most gun laws are ineffective against crazy people, and look at what the anti-gun movement really wants, a total gun ban.
Unlike countries that pre-dated firearms, the founders of the United States found guns to be a fundamental tool in the preservation of liberty. I point that out not as a rights argument, but to point out there are a lot of guns and a lot of Americans who are not going to forfeit them. Gun ownership and purchases have gone up since Barack Obama became president, in some cases so that people could hoard them while it is still possible. There are literally as many guns in America as there are Americans.
Therefore, banning guns would mean more resistance than any other place that’s had a gun ban. The next step would be penalties. So far, the government has not decided to use the death penalty for gun use in a crime except for extreme circumstances. I doubt a death penalty for ownership wouldn’t go over well. Instead, there would be rampant gun hiding, especially in the case of rifles that never had to be registered in the first place.
Of all gun deaths, a small percentage are homicides of people outside of dangerous neighborhoods or dangerous personal situations. It’s a tragedy when an innocent person is shot because it’s not nearly as common as statistics suggest. Ultimately, the amount of gun violence by legal owners is dwarfed by those who possess illegal guns. A gun ban will simply make every gun owner a criminal. More importantly, only criminals will risk using a gun.